After playing just one game in their opening weekend – in Swift Current – the Calgary Hitmen had a hectic weekend, playing three games in three nights with travel. But despite missing captain Mark Kastelic, the Hitmen were full marks and won all three games.
The week that was
In their season-opener against Swift Current, the Hitmen were chasing the entire time and needed some late game heroics to salvage a point. In their home-opener against Edmonton on Friday, the Hitmen were chasing the entire game and needed some late game heroics to salvage two points. Progress. The Hitmen rallied back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to force OT, then won off a neutral zone turnover. Josh Prokop and James Malm each scored once, while Carson Focht scored in the third to tie things up and then notched the OT winner. Jack McNaughton made 21 saves for the win.
After chasing for two full games, the Hitmen never trailed on Saturday in Red Deer. Powered by single goals from Egor Zamula and Layne Toder, and a hat trick from Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Riley Stotts, they beat the Rebels by a 5-1 score. McNaughton made just 15 saves for his second in in 48 hours.
The Hitmen continued their strong play on Sunday when they hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers. In a much more tight-checking game, the Hitmen got a pair of goals from rookie Adam Kydd (his first two WHL goals) and 33 saves from Carl Stankowski for his first career WHL shutout. The Tigers just never quite got out of the goals, perhaps a product of playing in Swift Current on Friday, Medicine Hat on Saturday, and dealing with snow-related travel delays en route to Calgary on Sunday.
Through three games, the Hitmen (3-0-1) are undefeated in regulation.
The week ahead
The Hitmen have a quiet week ahead with just a single game. They host the Portland Winterhawks on Sunday afternoon.
The Hitmen will be getting their captain back, as Kastelic has returned to the club following a training camp stint with the Ottawa Senators organization. He’ll make his season debut on Sunday.
The club has also announced that they’ll be holding a Bret “The Hitman” Hart Night on Nov. 2. The night will pay tribute to one of the city’s most famous citizens (and the team’s namesake), legendary pro wrestler Bret Hart, while also raising funds for the Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre. The event will include four live wrestling matches from the Prairie Wrestling Alliance following the game.